Is RAD suitable for an enterprise or freelance developers?

Every organization usually needs many applications for its activities. Some can be acquired for FREE (freeware), some needs to be purchased. However, there is no application for many special cases or it is not focused precisely as you need. It is either too complex or too simple. In this article we want to show basic overview of these problems you can have with applications and their development and how to cope with them.

The list is not complete and we will be happy if you share your insight with us emailing to or on facebook.


Problems with applications

Single-purpose applications do not suit

Single-purpose applications are good but lose due to focus limited on a single area. If you need something more, they are difficult to enhance. The other example are applications with too many fields on forms that you will not use. You may have slightly different processes and application is then too complex. Unused fields confuse and distract user attention.

You do not have capacities for internal development

Too keep your own developers is demanding. You should have at least two of them for each platform (windows, linux, and various databases) and application due to replaceability. You need also to invest in trainings in order their knowledge does not get obsolete. Otherwise, you also risk that they leave you due to lack of training. When leaving they are taking away also knowledge of your systems. This is the moment when problems with system maintenance and development will occur.

External development is too costly

External development can solve some issues of internal development. However, you lose time with tenders, claims, discussing what is and what is not subject of delivery. Some types of applications live and demand continuous improvement which in this case generates new orders to the vendor.

There is no need to develop applications like Word. You can buy them and they can be used for a long time. In contrast to that application for managing processes or administration of devices has to be continuously improved because new devices with new parameters that you have to record in the system are constantly developed. I have worked for a telecommunication company and every year or two a new technology came. The system was constantly evolving.

You need that as soon as possible

In terms of response speed the best choice is internal development. If you ask for something today and there are free capacities, the development can start immediately. There are no issues with tendering, waiting for signing the contract etc. Sometimes you can have such relations with vendors that they start working also without contract. However, this is risky for both parties.

You have many data in Excel sheets and similar "databases" created by users (End User Computing - EUC)

If users need to record something and they do not have where to store it in company systems, they will create something themselves. The easiest way is to use Excel, for some of them it might by Access.

Although both mentioned programs are great, you should not use them to store enterprise data of database character. There are following crucial drawbacks:

  • Excel is not transactional system
  • It is not clear who performed what changes
  • Users can change anything even if they should not
  • Users can send the file by email (even if it may contain sensitive data) - later on it is not clear which version is the last one
  • Information cannot be shared (online) with other users
  • Information may not be recorded in company systems and therefore nobody can be aware of it, even if it may be critical for some employees
  • Angry or leaving user can modify or damage the data -then  you can hardly trace back correct values

How Rapid Application Development (RAD) systems solve these issues?

Single-purpose applications do not suit

RAD system is a general system that provides large set of functions activated on click. You can easily enrich your application with archiving, notifications, roles management, filtering... etc. Everything can be adapted, simplified or enhanced.

If you will not need certain function in future, you can switch it off.

This scenario is also advantageous if you need to record something temporarily.

You do not have capacities for internal development

Extensiveness of technologies and count of applications operated in companies call for huge capacities of their administrators. These can be reduced by decreasing number of used technologies.

With RAD systems you can operate more applications in a single system. On top of that you get the opportunity to link data from these applications together and use them online. This solves also problems with data exports and imports from one application into another.

Demands on developers and the whole IT decrease with reducing number of systems. Developers can then perform more changes for much shorter time.

Furthermore, due to easiness of development in RAD you can grant to some capable users access to create their own model (e.g. only in test environment). After tuning and check by IT developers such model can be used in production environment. Users get more engaged into continuous improvement in this way, because it will be their "baby" now. Changes accelerate and you save IT capacities. At the same time users will not load IT with complex and technically demanding requirements, because they will be able to imagine better system capabilities.

External development is too costly

Because it is not necessary to develop the whole application from the scratch, the volume of works is also smaller and you can outsource it. External company will then only design object structures (that get clicked fast) and create business logic.

Some RAD systems offer ready-made models that you can install and further extend or simplify. It is not necessary to reinvent the wheel, you can just integrate what is already prepared.

You need that as soon as possible

When user or business come today with new necessary functionality, it is already late. Time to market is essential.

You can click many functions in RAD systems. Basic application structure with ability to input data can be ready within couple of minutes or hours (depending on scope of the application). Further auxiliary functions can be added in following days but users can already use the application and work with data.

You have many data in Excel sheets and similar "databases" created by users

Creating a simple model is question of couple of minutes. Including search, archiving, access management and links between more data sources (tables). Elegant user interface is matter of course. After importing data from original Excel sheets you can work with them in corresponding environment.


ObjectGears as RAD system

ObjectGears is focused exactly on these issues. It provides an environment for a fast creation of applications with functions "on click" for managing roles, audit-trail and archiving, sending notifications and more.


How will ObjectGears help freelance developers an IT vendors?

  • Create fast big project with add-on functions

Forms for displaying detail and list of records, filtering, role-based access, integration, workflow, localization, archiving and audit-trail...

  • Deliver valuable project with minimum of work

Creating a robust project with all the functions that a good RAD system provides costs a lot of work (many months or years) even if components are used. With ObjectGears system you have it available at once.

  • Licenses according to number of users

Low operational cost for the customer. At the beginning you can start with a free version for 25 users, which decreases the overall invoice for the customer and may be decisive for your success in a tender.

  • Lower prices for ObjectGears partners
  • ObjectGears training courses

Customer employees will need to be trained for using new system and new models. This is another work you can take care of.

  • Possibility of further growth in the company

If the customer implements one application in ObjectGears, it founds also a potential for further growth with a minimal investment. As a vendor of the initial implementation you will likely be part of it.

ObjectGears is an excellent choice when replacing old applications, especially if users already know it.

You can help the company analyze rebuilding application base and suggest which applications are good candidates to move to ObjectGears system. In the first phase you can e.g. only move data of old applications and so enable sharing them or performing reporting over them.

Summary: Classic applications vs. RAD
Classic applications RAD solution
Single-purpose does not suit. Many available functions. Everything can be adapted, simplified or enhanced.
No capacities for internal development. More applications in a single RAD system. Engagement of business users.
External development is too costly. No need to create everything from scratch. Ready-made ObjectGears solutions.
You need it asap. Click-on functions.
Many data in Excel sheets (EUC). Easy data import from Excel sheets and their replacement.
Main objects of the ObjectGears system

Main objects

You can try online ObjectGears demo.

You can download full free version also for commercial use.